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    Joined: Dec 2007
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    crisc Offline OP
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    I am still waiting on the exact date and time of the meeting.

    Thanks for the all the good advice. I have already printed out many of the responses and I am going to keep a one page bullet list of the items I want to ask/discuss with the teacher.

    Great advice about ignoring the e-mail.

    Another question: Is it ok to talk about standard deviations: Example a child 3SD above the normal IQ being similar to having the same special needs of a child 3SD below the normal?

    Her last e-mail already told me she was "looking forward to sharing with me the district assessments that were recently done". I can't wait. smile


    Crisc
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    Originally Posted by crisc
    I am still waiting on the exact date and time of the meeting.

    Thanks for the all the good advice. I have already printed out many of the responses and I am going to keep a one page bullet list of the items I want to ask/discuss with the teacher.

    Great advice about ignoring the e-mail.

    Another question: Is it ok to talk about standard deviations: Example a child 3SD above the normal IQ being similar to having the same special needs of a child 3SD below the normal?

    Her last e-mail already told me she was "looking forward to sharing with me the district assessments that were recently done". I can't wait. smile


    Crisc,
    Can you ask her to forward the results to you before the meeting, so you'd have time to browse the results and have more informed questions for her at the meeting?

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    Hi, Crisc,

    I haven't had much luck advocating, so I'm learning as well from what others have said. Here are a few things I wish I had done last year in a similar situation:

    1. LISTEN to the teacher the entire meeting - hear her out and see if this is even a person who is going to be able to meet you part way. Make it your goal to just listen and make notes and then maybe figure out a way later to get what you need.

    2. Have your DH go with you. Even if he says nothing. It is sad but it seems to be true that teachers/admins respect and listen to dads more than to moms. (I don't think this is how it should be; I do think it is how it is in many cases.)

    3. Take someone else with you (even if DH goes) and have that person take notes. Have her/him write down as much as is possible that is said by both parties. If DH can't go, this person can also step in when you get too emotional (mad, sad, angry, frustrated, whatever) and help defuse a power struggle. Have a prearranged signal or code word or a question that your observer can ask to deflect from you until you get it back under control. I would just introduce him/her as a friend (Wonder if it makes a difference if this person is a man???).

    4. Be a broken record: "I understand blah, blah, blah, I need to know x,y,z" until you get somewhere.

    5. Avoid arguing with the teacher, even if you are right. It won't matter and she'll never agree. And, remember, you'd rather be successful than right (or I would, anyway).

    6. Make a list of a few things you want for your child. If she doesn't seem to be able to meet the first one, go to the next. Perhaps if you can get her to agree on one thing, that would be a good start.

    7. I read somewhere to sit on the right of whoever in the room has the most authority. That way, you can see what that person is writing down. Typically, whatever she/he writes down is what is the take-away from the meeting.

    I don't know if any of that will help. I do know what you are going through and wish you didn't have to go through it. Keep us posted!

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    Crisc,

    I also think you may have trouble using SD unless their is a GT specialist in the room. Most teachers think EVERYONE who is 6/7 has something to learn from the 1st grade curriculum no matter how bright they are blah blah blah. So 3SD's or not they think your amazing little boy belongs there. You need to figure out if there an option available within the system that can meet his needs. Somehow I doubt though it seems that many people on this board get it to work. We have enough problems with my DD7 and she is not even close to where your little boy is. We even have an established and very well respected GT program so I think you should brace yourself for a difficult road ahead but not impossible. Try to keep a good attitude and assume the best of people. In the end it is likely that the teacher, principal etc want the best for your son they just don't know what that is yet.

    best wishes and hugs to you!

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    Wow, Crisc, all of these thoughts are invaluable. I especially agree that it would be good to have the data from the school beforehand.

    Quote
    Another question: Is it ok to talk about standard deviations: Example a child 3SD above the normal IQ being similar to having the same special needs of a child 3SD below the normal?

    Is is okay? Sure. It's a valid and persuasive argument. But think about realistically and theoretically. Her wording in her letter implies that she does not believe DS to be in that category. Consequently, that fact will not help her understand DS's situation, at this time.

    I'm guessing she may have some "data" that doesn't put him in the PG group. DD6's teacher actually showed me the assessments they give the kids to determine if they need above grade level material in class. She probably should not have done this, however, she is so sweet and her intentions were to calm my fear that my child wasn't being challenged appropriately. I was actually shocked(in a bad way) so THAT didn't work. She truly believed in her heart that these assessments were the end all be all. ((huuuuge sigh))

    Which reminds me, the teachers around here seem to be under the impression that the child has to consistently perform with 100% accuracy in order to be competent and ready to move on, prematurely that is. That's a big problem because it reward perfectionism and sets these kids up for problems down the road. So I asked: "At the end of the year when the kids get promoted to the next grade, they are all at 100% accuracy in all all subjects; across the board?"-again, wise to be quiet after that *question*

    Timing is so important. More important than what you say is when you say it, KWIM?

    Take my advice or not, but I really think you outta put this meeting in context. You pissed the teacher off without meaning to. She isn't convinced your kid is all that and to tell you the truth I'm a little concerned with the tone of the last sentence of her e-mail. I know a lot can get confused in an e-mail, but it seems somewhat telling of what to expect in the meeting.

    Think about it this way, you aren't allotted one meeting per year with the teacher. You have an unusual situation with DS and he deserves to have more than one meeting to have it addressed. It deserves more than a little thought and serious consideration.

    I'm just tossing out the idea that you may want to look at this meeting as information gathering on your part. No big decisions have to be made one way or another.

    So that's my LONG winded way of saying: Be aware of what transpired before the meeting, how much time you have for the meeting and know what you want as a result of the meeting before you go in.

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    Well having made that argument and failed miserably, I'd leave out the standard deviations. When I asked DS's teacher (keep in mind he's supposed to be at a gifted school!) how she handles differentiation in the class, her response was "there is no need, they are all learning at the same pace." I should have shut up but I proceeded and said "Well that's interesting because the kids are so different. It must be difficult to teach them all the same. How do you teach the ones that are really behind the rest?"

    Her answer... I kid you not...

    "They all need help with coloring. It's a skill that is not natural to most Kindergartners so we really have to work on it. But even the slow ones, LIKE YOUR SON, learn to color by the end of the year."

    You've gotten some great advice and I think your meeting will go very well if you can keep it focused on your child and breathe. And breathe some more. I find it very helpful to have a small mint so that as I'm biting my tongue, I don't bite it too hard!


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    I think she meant: Even the WILLFULL ones, LIKE YOUR SON, will be beaten down into submission by the end of the year.

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    crisc Offline OP
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    Argh...don't get me or DS6 started on the coloring issue!!


    Crisc
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    I think that's the root of the problem. There must be an X file consisting of the names of every deviant child who refuses to color in the lines in Kindergarten.......

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    OK what is so important about coloring in K? HOw many people actually make a living coloring? I'm being serious here. I can see it as a fine motor skill but if the child doesn't like to color, then let them do some other fine motor skill. My son started out coloring w/in the lines and being careful, but after worksheet after worksheet after worksheet after worksheet after worksheet, he just doesn't care any more. His handwriting is great so he has no fine motor issues yet I get the note home to continue working on coloring at home. The kid will pick up a pencil and sketch beautiful fighter jets from his head, battle scenes complete with British airplane insignia, German airplane insignia, tanks on the ground,etc but he needs to work on his coloring....

    sorry rant over....

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